How to Make a Garment Bag

Completed garment bag front

How to Make a Garment Bag

Pick your own fabrics to personalize your own garment bag. We are all doing more road trips, and I find being able to pull together my hanging clothes then put them in a garment bag makes it easy for road travels. Enjoy this free pattern, using Kraft-tex for the upper bag and fun fabric for the lower section.

This version has a gusset that is perfect for weekend trips in your car when you are packing several outfits. You can make a simple bag for one outfit for a special occasion by eliminating the gusset. Add pockets for jewelry and accessories to keep your ensemble together.

Here is how to make your own custom garment bag with Kraft-tex:

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Completed garment bag front

How to Make a Garment Bag

Personalize a garment bag perfect for road trips by selecting your own fabrics. This pattern used Kraft-tex for the upper part of the garment bag which helps provide structure to the garment bag, and protects the shoulders of your garments.

Materials

  • 1 package Kraft-tex
  • 1 36" long (or longer) zipper
  • 1-3/4 yards of fabric, use a quilting cotton or for a firmer garment bag use a light-weight upholstery fabric
  • Cut the fabric into these pieces:
  • One (1) piece 21" wide by 44" long (width of fabric) for the back
  • Two (2) pieces 11" wide by 44" long (width of fabric) for the front pieces
  • Three (3) pieces 5" wide by 44" long (width of fabric) for the gusset pieces

Tools

  • Sewing machine
  • Iron
  • Scissors
  • Frixion pen
  • Fabric clips

Instructions

  1. Gather your supplies. Start with preparing the upper section of the garment bag. I like to start with my favorite hanger to trace the top curves onto the Kraft-tex.Start by drawing around your preferred hanger on the Kraft-tex
  2. Fold your Kraft-tex in half, so that you'll have enough for both the upper front and backs of the garment bag. Trace around the hanger using a removable marker. I like to use a Frixion pen. Note: Always test your marker to make sure you can remove the marks! Trace of the hanger on the Kraft-tex
  3. To provide extra space in the upper part of your garment bag for your clothes, I mark about 1-1/2 inches away from the original tracing of the hanger. These will be my cutting lines. Marking the cut lines
  4. Cut along those lines for the back of the garment bag. Upper back all cut out
  5. Trace this shape on the other half of the Kraft-tex for the upper front of the garment bag. Cut the second piece in half. Since we are going to topstitch the zipper, this piece doesn't need any added seam allowances. Top pieces all cut out!
  6. Prepare the lower fabric. I like a longer garment bag so that my dresses can hang without being crumpled in the bottom of the bag. The fabric I used was 44" wide. Cut the fabric pieces as outlined in the materials: One (1) piece 21" x 44", Two (2) pieces 11" x 44", Three (3) pieces 5" x 44".
  7. Finish the front long edges of the fabric. I zigzagged the front edges.
  8. Prepare the gusset: Sew the three (3) strips of 5" fabric together to make one long strip for the garment bag gusset. Sew the 5" strips into one long length
  9. Sewing the front. Sew the front fabric pieces to the Kraft-tex upper pieces. Make sure to lay them out so that they will form the hanger shape. Press the seam and then topstitch
  10. Kraft-tex doesn't really have a right side/wrong side, so lay them out and clip the fabric to the Kraft-tex. NOTE: Don't use pins, they will make holes in the Kraft-tex. Sew the front pieces together, note that the fabric center front edge has been finished
  11. Press the seam down. Topstitch. Top stitching the lower front to the upper front
  12. Topstitch one side of your zipper on one of the right sides of your garment bag. Top stitching the zipper to the front
  13. Line up the other side of the zipper on the other side of the garment bag and topstitch the zipper from top to bottom. NOTE: The zipper doesn't extend to the bottom of the fabric.
  14. Line up the center front pieces below the zipper and zigzag them together to lie flat. Zig Zagging the lower bottom of the front
  15. From your Kraft-tex scraps, cut a piece that is 1-1/2" wide by the length of your unfinished front edge below the zipper. This will help be a 'stop' for your zipper. Most longer zippers are separating, used for jackets, and we don't want that. 🙂
  16. Lay this strip of Kraft-tex over your zigzagged fabric and topstitch to cover this rough seam. Topstitching decorative band on center front
  17. Make sure to sew all of the way until about 1/2" into the zipper, turn and sew over the end of the zipper, and back down the other side. This forms a stop for the zipper.Sewing across the bottom of the zipper
  18. Sewing the back. Sew the upper back to the lower back. Press and topstitch.Topstitching the lower and upper backs
  19. Lay the front and back together and make sure they are the same length, trim as needed, and round the corners. Rounding the corners will make it easier to add the gusset. Trimming the bottom corners to curves
  20. Cut two more pieces of Kraft-tex from your scraps that are 5" x 1-1/2". Take one of those pieces and press in half lengthwise. Carefully place the edge of one end of the gusset fabric inside the fold and topstitch. This protects and finished the edge of the gusset at the upper edge with the hangers. Place right sides together and begin sewing the gusset strip to the front of the garment bag. Beginning to sew the side to the front
  21. As you reach the shoulder curve, carefully ease the gusset fabric along the Kraft-tex and curve. Sewing the side to the fronts, easing around the curve
  22. When you get all around the garment bag, stop about 5" before the edge, cut the gusset strip to be even with the zipper on the front and finish the edge of the gusset with the other strip of Kraft-tex.
  23. Lay the front with gusset on your cutting table. Carefully lay the back on top, with right sides together, and use your clips to line up the curves on the shoulders and all around to ease and match the seam lines. Top and back all clipped together
  24. At the bottom of the center front, there is the strip of Kraft-tex that acts as a stop for the zipper, and finishes the front. Mark the similar spot on the center of the back. Take a strip of Kraft-tex that is 2" wide x 12" long (or whatever length of strip you'd like) fold in half and stitch along the edge. This will be a loop to be able to easily fold your garment bag in half. Take that strip, fold it in half lengthwise, and insert at this mark on the back of the garment bag, with raw edges matching. Lining up the bottom loop with the center front
  25. Beginning at the side of the garment bag, with right sides together. begin sewing the gusset to the back of the garment bag. Make sure to open the zipper a few inches before making this last seam, so it will be easy to turn it right side out. Sewing the sides to the back
  26. Turn the garment bag right side out, Topstitch both the front and back gusset seams to give them additional support. Topstitching around side seams
  27. Completed front garment bag. Completed garment bag front
  28. Completed bag garment bag. Back of finished garment bag
  29. Garment bag folded using loop. Finished garment bag looped up for easy carrying

Make a statement with your own customized garment bag! Use combos of fabric to suite your style! You can make your own bag with coordinating fabrics that match your luggage, or even your car!


Browse through more Kraft-tex projects on Create Whimsy.

For tips and trick for working with Kraft-Tex, check out our in depth article that covers everything you’ll want to know about working with this unique product that sews like fabric, but acts like leather.

Learn more about Kraft-tex on the C&T Publishing YouTube Channel.


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